Peyton Battenfield, SP, CLE (CBS: 3% rostered, ESPN: not rostered): Aaron Civale hit the IL with a left oblique strain, joining Triston McKenzie on the IL. In a surprising move, the Guardians turned to Peyton Battenfield in a Wednesday matchup against the Yankees. He held his own, allowing one earned run over 4 2/3 innings. His future looks like Detroit this week, followed up with Colorado at home and Boston on the road in a two-start week. That’s three starts that you probably want Battenfield on your active roster.
Brayan Bello, SP, BOS (CBS: 28% rostered, ESPN: 4% rostered): in his last rehab start, Bello tossed six innings of one-run ball with the fastball reportedly hitting 97 mph. He’s ready to roll and is scheduled to start against the Angels and Brewers this coming week. Add him to your roster, but he’s best left on your bench this week while he knocks the rust off.
Tanner Bibee, SP, CLE (CBS: 13% rostered, ESPN: 1% rostered): Hunter Gaddis is looking at a relatively short leash after compiling an 8.53 ERA in his first three starts. He has the Tigers next on the schedule, and continuing his struggles could result in Tanner Bibee getting the call. In two starts (11 IP) at Triple-A Columbus, Bibee has allowed only five hits, three walks, and no runs while striking out 15 batters. Posting numbers of that magnitude guarantees a trip to Cleveland is eventually in the cards, and it could be sooner rather than later.
Taj Bradley, SP, TBR (CBS: 52% rostered, ESPN: 10% rostered): Bradley made his debut last week against the Red Sox and tossed five innings of five hit, one walk ball while chipping in with eight strikeouts in earning his first MLB victory. He was immediately dispatched back to Triple-A Durham, but the Jeffrey Springs injury later in the week should have Bradley packing his bags for a return trip to Tampa Bay.
Jake Burger, 3B, CWS (CBS: 4% rostered, ESPN: not rostered): Yoan Moncada was placed on the IL with lower back soreness, and thus far, Burger has gotten the job done, going 3-for-6 with a pair of home runs Friday and Saturday. In deeper Leagues, he’s an excellent short-term option in the corner-infield slot.
Franchy Cordero, 1B/OF, NYY (CBS: 28% rostered, ESPN: 14% rostered): Franchy Cordero has eight hits in 36 at-bats this season. Five of those hits have been of the extra base variety, with four making it to the bleachers. If you’re searching for a boost in your HR/RBI numbers with a corresponding low BA, bid accordingly. Just know your parameters!
J. D. Davis, 3B, SFG (CBS: 19% rostered, ESPN: 3% rostered): The Giants team President, Farhan Zhadi, announced this spring that the plan was for David Villar to break camp as the starter at third base. Plans change, and two weeks into the season, they have. J. D. Davis is wielding a hot hand, with four homers, 13 RBI, and a .391 OBP and now appears to be in the process of, at least for now, owning the “hot corner.”
Bryan De La Cruz, OF, MIA (CBS: 26% rostered, ESPN: 3% rostered): De La Cruz is heating up, going 7-for-13 in his past three games. That should guarantee him a place in the heart of the order in Miami, at least for the short term.
Vaughn Grissom, ATL (CBS: 67% rostered, ESPN: 36% rostered): Orlando Arcia will miss time with the microfracture in his left wrist. How much still is to be determined, but no timetable for his return has been established. Last week we mentioned that Vaughn Grissom could get plenty of time to hone his defensive chops down on the farm. This week, he’ll be honing those skills in Atlanta.
Edouard Julien, 2B, MIN (CBS: 35% rostered, ESPN: 4% rostered): When Jorge Polanco is ready to come off the IL, Julien will have to give the Twins an excellent reason for them to leave him on the roster and in the leadoff slot.
Corey Julks, OF, HOU (CBS: 2% rostered, ESPN: not rostered): Michael Brantley is scheduled to return sometime in May, but that still gives Julks ample time to get in a steady diet of at-bats. In AL-only and 20-team formats, he’s worthy of a roster spot.
Andrew McCutchen, OF, PIT (CBS: 22% rostered, ESPN: 17% rostered): The return to the Pirates has succeeded, with McCutchen hitting a pair of homers, stealing three bases, and posting a fantastic .309 BA. In deeper leagues, he’s looking like a solid option as a #5 outfielder.
Mason Miller, SP, OAK (CBS: 5% rostered, ESPN: not rostered): How bad has the pitching been in Oakland this season? A reboot might be in order when the pitching leader is sporting a 5.52 ERA and three of your rotation arms have ERAs north of 10. It’s only one start, but five innings of perfect ball with 11 strikeouts at Triple-A Las Vegas is worthy of our attention.
Zach Neto, SS, LAA (CBS: 7% rostered, ESPN: not rostered): In a surprising move, the Angels have called up their top draft pick from last June to replace the slumping Luis Rengifo. The Angels have proclaimed that Neto will be their everyday shortstop for 2023. Spending some of those FAAB dollars to see how the advanced bat of Neto plays out is a wise plan.
Johan Oviedo, SP, PIT (CBS: 22% rostered, ESPN: 5% rostered): After getting roughed up in his season opener against the Red Sox, Oviedo has now tossed a pair of gems against two solid teams in the White Sox and Cardinals. He has only allowed one earned run over 13 2/3 innings in those two starts. Toss in the 15 strikeouts, and things look very good for the former Cardinal.
Brandon Pfaadt, SP, ARZ (CBS: 35% rostered, ESPN: 2% rostered): Madison Bumgarner is struggling, and the velocity is down. His next start is being pushed back. Brandon Pfaadt is the obvious choice to get the call, and he probably won’t be waiting long for the phone to ring.
Brent Rooker, OF, OAK (CBS: 10% rostered, ESPN: 3% rostered): The two-homer five RBI Thursday against the Orioles has boosted his early power numbers to 4 home runs and 11 RBI, which in Oakland makes him an offensive force and should guarantee at a steady diet of at-bats moving forward. He did slug 20 home runs three times in the Minors.
Kevin Smith, SS/3B, OAK (CBS: 1% rostered, ESPN: not rostered): Another year, another kick-at-the-can for Kevin Smith. He has absolutely nothing to prove at Triple-A and everything to prove on the big-League roster. Will this opportunity lead to success?
Forrest Whitley, SP, HOU (CBS: 8% rostered, ESPN: not rostered): It has been an incredibly long journey for now 25-year-old Whitley, and all the hard work appears on the verge of yielding some tangible rewards. In two starts (8 IP) at Triple-A Sugarland, he’s allowed only two hits, three walks, and one earned run and chipped in with 11 strikeouts. This puts Whitley first in line for a callup and a perfect candidate to acquire while the cost is still low.
The Closer Report
Bryan Abreu, RP, HOU (CBS: 14% rostered, ESPN: 5% rostered): The upward spike in Abreu’s strikeout numbers has continued into 2023. He has 13 strikeouts in his first 7 2/3 IP and is still a fair distance from working the ninth inning. Still, the solid peripherals combined with those strikeouts, especially as an injury replacement, make for a low-cost, high-reward type acquisition.
Colin Holderman, RP, PIT (CBS: 3% rostered, ESPN: 3% rostered): He’s currently tied for second with five holds and has tossed seven innings of shutout ball. He’s also next-in-line for saves if David Bednar is moved at the trade deadline. That’s a lot to like in a player requiring a minimum bid to roster.
Jose Quijada, RP, LAA (CBS: 12% rostered, ESPN: 5% rostered): In five appearances this year, Quijada has three holds and two saves. He has allowed a single hit and walk and has yet to allow an earned run. Why is he rostered in only 12% of CBS Leagues?
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